Gallery of Greats: Lahm, the all-conquering German

Philipp Lahm led Germany to its first World Cup win since its reunification since 1990.

Philipp Lahm retired after leading Germany to the World Cup title in 2014.   -  Getty Images

Considered one of the most prolific fullbacks of his time, Philipp Lahm enjoyed an illustrious 10 years with the German senior squad. Hailing from Munich, Lahm first tasted international success when he was part of the team that clinched the silver medal at the U-19 European Championship in 2002.

Traditionally a right back, Lahm was equally adept with both feet and was seen as a constant threat owing to his superior tackles, agility, and stamina.

He made his first World Cup appearance in 2006, where he scored in the opening game against Costa Rica. He was later named in the team of the tournament.

 

Lahm rose up the ranks and was elected captain for the 2010 World Cup after Michael Ballack's withdrawal prior the tourney. This made Lahm the youngest national captain and he led his men to the semifinal, where they lost to eventual champion Spain.

Meanwhile, he enjoyed great success on the club front. A Bayern Munich youth product, Lahm has the complete set in terms of titles. He won eight Bundesliga championships, six German Cups and the coveted Champions League with the Bavarian side.

However, he reached his career's pinnacle when he led a spirited German side to World Cup glory in Brazil in 2014. There was immense pressure going into the tournament for the side to perform and Lahm ensured his players stepped up to the occasion. He shuttled between midfield and defence and was omnipresent in his side's campaign. 

An extra-time winner from Mario Gotze in the summit clash against Argentina sealed Germany's triumph and Lahm became the first captain to lead the team to World Cup glory since its reunification in 1990.

Having enjoyed a fruitful tenure with the squad, Lahm went on to hang up his boots post the tournament. After 113 appearances for the national side, Lahm left with his head held high and with the satisfaction of securing Germany's fourth World Cup triumph.

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